Recently, Justin Lee, Mary Chhuani and I joined, as observers, a group of young people from another Presbyterian Church in their 3-day-2night medical mission trip. The group comprised 11 youths, their pastor mentor, their Mission Comm Chairlady, a doctor, a church member and her 10 year-old daughter. The purpose of the trip was to minister to a group of islanders in Riau.
Joshua, a 23 year-old medical student, was the organizer of the trip. He was a serious young man passionate about helping people. Prior to leaving for the trip, he compiled a booklet of devotions for his team to set their hearts and minds in the right direction for the trip and a similar booklet with devotions for every morning and night for the mission group. Yes, observers were included. On the first day, after a hot afternoon on one of the islands rounding off with a cold shower and a delicious seafood dinner, I was ready to call it a night—but lo and behold, Joshua stood outside our bedroom to remind us that devotion was going to begin. They were waiting for us…
All in all, we visited three islands and spent the time helping various people who visited the clinic. Some of the youths taught the children how to brush their teeth and gave out free toothbrushes and toothpaste. Some blew up balloons to entertain the village children. Everyone had so much fun. The islanders were mainly fishermen and life was hard for them. Their daily staple was rice and fish that they caught. The youths reached out to these people by first meeting some of their community needs. They helped paint one of their main communal buildings and even constructed a volleyball court last year. When there were opportunities, the love of Christ is shared as many have not heard the Gospel yet.
This Presbyterian Church has been serving these islands for the last seven years. When I was told that one of the chiefs, on one of these islands, came to know the Lord recently, I could visualize thousands of angels singing and praising God in Heaven.. Luke 15:10 - I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Cross-cultural missions require love, patience and perseverance. If the love of our Lord is not the basis for these missions, they will be very short-lived. Our goal is to share the love of Christ so that pre-believers will have the opportunity to know the One true God. We may not live to see the results of our mission works for the timing is in God’s hands. Nevertheless, we must be grateful for the opportunities given and serve faithfully. As the apostle Paul reminded us in 1Corinthians 3:6 - I planted the seed, Apollos watered it but God made it grow. Each of us has our work cut out for us. Together we make a team and the results are up to God.
I came away from this trip with a song in my heart. When youths go for mission trips, be it a one-off, periodically or even evolve into a regular full time mission work, the churches are doing a great job in leaving an important legacy to their youths. There is a succession planning in place! The work done by God’ servants are being passed on to the next generation. Praise be to God!
I’m so grateful to God that He has touched the hearts of our youths to go for the missions trips either organized by our own church or by other organizations. I would like to encourage them to continue to be active in answering to the call of missions. Again I quote from Paul in 1 Timothy 4:12—Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…
Every one of us has a part to play in missions. If we can go we should, if we can’t go we can support in prayer or give financially or even give your time in supporting some of the administration work in mission agencies.
I pray that one day someone can commend us like what the Apostle Paul said of the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 --- We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.